The aim of giving a personal testimony is to tell of the working of God’s grace in your own life, that the cross of Christ may be proclaimed and the faith of your listeners built up.
A few things to remember while writing your story
- Keep it focused on Christ, the cross, and on God’s initiative and grace — your testimony should be God focused as opposed to self-focused.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you so that the most important and helpful aspects of your gospel story will be shared clearly. Believe that God will empower you through his Spirit to be a witness to His good grace (Acts 1:8).
- Please be brief. Keep it to half a page typed, single-spaced, with 12-point font. Your testimony will not describe every life event, but rather present a simplified version of what your life was like before Christ, how you received the Gospel, and how God has since changed your life. It should take roughly 60 seconds to read out loud.
How might you go about writing your testimony?
In Acts 26, when Paul stood before King Agrippa, he simply and plainly shared the story of his life. Paul’s testimony followed a guideline that can help you prepare your testimony.
Before the Cross (Acts 26:4-11):
- What was your life like? What characterized you? How did you think of God? What were your thoughts about religion? How was the Lord justly angered toward you because of your sin during this time?
- Remember, "[w]e can all say, ‘I was once a _________' and fill in our own descriptions of our sinful state. And we don’t need a dramatic testimony to do so. Even if your story doesn’t involve drugs or immorality, it is still a miracle of God’s grace. You didn’t write it by yourself. God intervened. God changed your heart. God saved you" (C.J. Mahaney).
How you came to know Christ and Him crucified (Acts 26:12-20):
- Help your hearers understand what drove you to consider Christ, whether it was the circumstances or time. When did you first sense your need for Jesus? What made you interested in Jesus?
- The key phrase to remember is the same key phrase of any story: but then… We all want to know how and why Jesus changed you.
I was hopeless, but then...
I didn't care who I hurt or which bridgew I burned, but then...
I was strung out on drugs, heading for the grave, but then...
- Share the specific steps of how you became a Christian. If there was a particular Scripture or word that someone said that drew you to Christ, share it here.
- Explain the gospel clearly:
1) You were sinful and fully deserving of God’s wrath.
2) Christ died in your place on the cross as your substitute - bearing the wrath of God in your place.
3) When you repented of your sin, turned from your old lifestyle and placed your faith in Christ’s sacrifice, then you were forgiven of all sin, becoming a child of God and obtaining new life in Him.
After Christ (Acts 26:21-23):
- There is forgiveness in the gospel of Jesus Christ, but there is also power! What difference has Christ made in your life? In the way you think, feel, and act? In the way your family, friends, and coworkers see you? How has Jesus helped you in your daily life? What prayers have you seen answered?
- Don’t be afraid to share honestly that you still have struggles, but be sure to share how Christ helps you with these struggles.
- Conclude by sharing that you now know you have eternal life (according to 1 John 5:11-13) in Jesus Christ.